There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
1 Corinthian 12:4-7
Packed up for a Christmas like Santa's overflowing sack, we made our way from Alabama to Kansas for Christmas. Our "sleigh" included car topper stuffed with presents. Mr. Claus (i.e. my dad) made a last minute mall stop and came out to find his pack stolen.
Sometimes our gifts get stolen but the their thief isn't a grinch and the gifts belong at the foot of crossed beams not a decorated tree. We rob ourselves of spiritual gifts.
Each of us who follow Jesus, were granted a unique set of God-given gifts the day we said "I do" to Him. We can possess these gifts and still have them stolen. The two primary culprits are envy and inactivity.
Stolen by Envy
I don't remember exactly how my parents went about replacing those presents last minute but like every Christmas miracle they managed to pull it off. I'm certain those eleventh hour substitutions weren't identical to the originals but I don't remember a single relative complaining about what they opened.
They didn't complain because they didn't know what they were missing. Their eyes were focused on what they did receive and not on what they didn't.
Envy deprives us from enjoying our own gifts. When we get start looking at others, our own abilities seem lacking. But when we peer only in our own box, we are completely satisfied with its contents.
Stolen by Inactivity
This week we've traversed the country with a little car topper of our own. Our hump makes the car easily identifiable across a parking lot but I've made sure it remained empty when we weren't actually on the highway.
Just possessing a luggage compartment does no good if it's kept empty. This is like gifts God gives us that we are too scared, timid or insecure to use. Inactivity steals our gift's effectiveness as if they were never there.
Let's stop committing highway robbery. Open your sack. See what's inside. God's perfect gifts are planted inside.